Astrosoniq: Quadrant

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Astrosoniq: Quadrant
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Astrosoniq: Quadrant
Psychadelic/Space Rock, Stoner Rock
Space Jam Records
2009
Release length: 57:37
Website
Astrosoniq is a name that not many have quite heard of, but it’s a name many people should. Since 2000, the group has been playing a combination of both Stoner Rock and Space Rock, adding some Psychadelic influences for good measure, all of which allowed the group to grow through musical experimentation, and always have some sort of unique sound to them to the group stand out. Quadrant is the group’s fifth full-length album that follows this kind of musical composition, and it definitely one that can be described as both heavy, as well as trippy, living up to all expectations of their fans. However, this album also picks up on some intensity, and even comes off as having a more Industrial sound to some of the material. But, perhaps the real question is whether or not this combination will work out well on this release.

If you didn’t know who Astrosoniq was, and just threw in Quadrant, “Faustian Bargain” might throw you for a bit, as it comes off more like you just bought some kind of Industrial or Techno album due to the more Industrial sounding ambience set by the synths and samples that kick start this effort. Once the overall introduction of this track is finished, the real heart of the track begins, which is a heavy Stoner Rock song that, at times, has enough intensity to border the likes of Stoner or even Sludge Metal. You can clearly hear influences from pivotol acts like Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, even the Hard Rock approach of KISS in their material, which the band themselves admit are influential to their recordings from the start. However, the overall Space Rock meets Stoner Rock atmosphere is on par with the band Monster Magnet, but also lightyears away due to the Psychadelic influences that appear in many of the songs. Of course, there’s also that Techno-like element scattered here and there, such as near the end of “As Soon As They Got Airborne”, which has a dance-like synth beat over trippy, psychadelic music that eventually shifts to a more Space Rock sound. This song is also one of the more interesting tracks, as it remains fresh pretty much the entire time, and nicely showcases the bands approach for the entire album, and their ability to weave music between all the styles they use.

For the most part, “As Soon As They Got Airborne” and “Faustian Bargain” are the two tracks that really stand out, with the rest of the album’s material only really going between degrees of intensity with the Psychadelic Stoner Rock feel, maybe with a little Space Rock thrown in. However, “Bloom” is another track that stands out, but for a whole other reason. The song doesn’t have that same flashy feel the rest of the material has, but rather a more down home approach through some Country and Bluegrass music mixed with a Rock sound through the song, only going into the Stoner Rock aspect of the band’s sound during the chorus, which leaves for an interesting song, but also a very big missed opporunity. While the song has traces of acts like Ted Nugent or even a laid back feel from The Allman Brothers, even Rush during the more atmospheric moments, it leaves one to wonder why the track was kept mostly as a Country/Bluegrass type of song only without any real experimentation or even implimentation of a Stoner or Spacey vibe to the music. Unfortunately, this is about the time the album starts to lose some of it’s shine and just starts to sound like an average Stoner Rock effort, even though “Zero” seem to be lyrically tied to “As Soon As They Got Airborne”.

If Astrosoniq were able to keep the energy from the first half of the album through the entire release, Quadrant would have been an exponential success. Unfortunately, after “Bloom”, the release just feels like it starts to drag along without anything much to hold the listeners attention, as well as a huge missed opportunity in that very same track. Quadrant still has some pretty interesting tracks that really capture the band’s musical abilities well, and those tracks are definitely worth checking out. Just don’t expect to go into this recording expecting the whole recording to be gold.

01. Faustian Bargain – 5:43
02. Cloud of Decay – 4:03
03. As Soon as They Got Airborne – 14:26
04. Play it Straight – 5:35
05. Lured – 4:24
06. Bloom – 6:34
07. Zero – 5:11
08. Downfall Lover – 4:44
09. Bored – 3:07
10. Sin – 3:52
Overall Score: 5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Space Jame Records via Earsplit PR.